News

Eating In at Laurel Park Place

BY CSA STAFF

When Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties redevelops existing retail space at Laurel Park Place mall in Detroit, it will add a 34,000-sq.-ft., seven-unit upscale food court that features offerings such as Bistro X, Sbarro, Asian Too and The Great Steak & Potato Co. A large stone fireplace, lighting enhancements and an expanded family restroom and lounge are focal points of the planned improvements.

According to Stephen Lebovitz, president, CBL, “The addition of a food court at Laurel Park Place underscores our commitment to meet the demands and needs of the marketplace by delivering much-needed fast-casual dining options to Laurel Park shoppers in a comfortable and inviting setting.”

A grand opening of the new food court is slated for the 2008 holiday season.

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REAL ESTATE

Cullinan launches kick-start program for franchise tenants

BY Al Urbanski

People in rural counties like yoga and gourmet burgers, too, but towns like Quincy, Illinois, don’t show up on the population density charts of many hot new franchising companies.

To remedy that situation at its Quincy Mall, Cullinan Properties has launched Franchise Forward, a program aimed at expanding the property’s dining and fitness options beyond Dairy Queen and mall-walking. Potential franchisees are being offered franchise fee reimbursement assistance, 100% construction financing, and low-risk early termination options to come to Quincy.

Cullinan Director of Marketing Anaise Berry says the program is less about signing new tenants than it is creating new experiences for customers, who drive to the mall from a 60-mile radius.

“What we really want to do is attract new concepts to Quincy, some of the names that you don’t see in Central Illinois — Orangetheory, for example,” Berry said.

Cullinan Properties will also provide new franchisees with advice from a retail leasing expert, marketing support, and construction management consulting.

Franchise Forward is a companion program to the Cullinan Kickstart Small Business Program. Sidell’s Bakery & Diner was among the first to participate in the program and launched its store at Quincy Mall in September.

Berry said Cullinan will consider extending Franchise Forward to other propertiesshould the Quincy Mall pilot prove successful.

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TECHNOLOGY

Nordstrom in new clothing donation initiative

BY Marianne Wilson

Nordstrom wants to help keep old clothing out of the nation’s landfills.

The department store retailer has entered into a partnership with Give Back Box, a company that sends donations to local charities, whereby customers can donate gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry or small household items by mail at no cost (using a Nordstrom box and a prepaid shipping label from the retailer.). All donations will be directed to local nonprofits. (For information on how it works, click here.)

“Our customers have told us they want to be able to clean out their closets in a more environmentally-friendly way,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom. “By extending the life of their used items, and encouraging them to reuse the box from their recent Nordstrom order, we’re trying to make it easy and convenient to help reduce waste while also being able to support local nonprofit organizations.”

In addition, the retailer, starting later this week, will begin testing an in-store donation program in its six Nordstrom stores in western Washington. The participating stores will have white, Goodwill-branded donation bins.

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